Navajo Nation delegate rips Trump: Code Talkers aren't 'pawns to advance a personal grudge'

A Navajo Nation Council delegate ripped President Trump after the president called Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery Bill to protect work licenses of student loan debtors is welcome development Federal court rules consumer bureau structure unconstitutional MORE (D-Mass.) "Pocahontas" during an event honoring Navajo Code Talkers.

In a statement, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty said Trump's "careless" comment is the "latest example of systemic, deep-seated ignorance of Native Americans and our intrinsic right to exist and practice our ways of life."

"The intentional disregard of the historical trauma of Pocahontas as a sexual assault survivor directly resulting from colonization is disturbing," she added.

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Crotty said the Navajo people aren't strangers to prejudice, discrimination and marginalization "perpetuated by western culture."

"Our woman and children are targets of violence. We must speak out against such ignorance in every instance, in hopes for a better future for our children and our land," Crotty said.

Crotty said Trump's remark is "problematic" and it diminishes the experience of Pocahontas.

"The reckless appropriation of this term is deeply offensive and dangerous to the sovereignty of our identity of our peoples. Such rhetoric is damaging, and it a serious infringement of our right to live as Native Americans," the statement said.

"The Navajo Code Talkers are not pawns to advance a personal grudge, or promote false narratives. Such pandering dishonors the sacrifice of our national heroes."

Crotty said antics don't "change the fact of history."

"We honor and respect the Navajo Code Talkers, and we are proud of their sacrifice," she said.

"Let us not allow this display of immaturity and short-sightedness distract us from the important issues we advocate for collectively as sovereign nations on this continent, but continue to advance the cause and secure the future of indigenous people in America."

Trump on Monday honored three Navajos who helped the U.S. Marine Corps develop a secret code during World War II.

"You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said, standing beneath a portrait of President Andrew Jackson. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her 'Pocahontas.'”

Trump has repeatedly used the derisive nickname when talking about Warren, a reference to her claim of Native American heritage.